Thursday – New Years Eve. The feeling in Paris is pretty electric, people are hopping around on the streets (carefully avoiding the heaping piles of dog poo everywhere, apparently, in Paris you just don’t have to pick up after your pets’ poo.)
We started the day with my first cup of French coffee, and it was absolutely wonderful. It was dark, rich, and incredibly powerful (also, very tiny, their standards for a cup of coffee are about the same for an American espresso – the cup below costs about $3 USD).
We visited shops for some of the day, trying some more pastries, and smelling all of the chocolatiers’ stores. I found a place that specialized in mint chocolate (think Andes’ Mints on steriods), but Valerie is not a fan of that aroma so we skipped out. The aroma Valerie is a fan of is Fondue, and we decided to sit down for a nicer dinner for once (we had been eating paninis and junk food all week). We went on a search for a Fondue restaurant, and the search took a while seeing as apparently in France, dinner doesn’t start being served until about 7pm (everything is later in France). We settled on La Grange:
Valerie and I thought the meal was excellent. We ordered both a 3 cheese and mushroom fondue, and a meat fondue (which was literally boiling oil where you cooked your own raw meat). The meat was served with 4 types of dipping sauces. They provided tons of bread. It was a really great experience, all around 40 Euros (which is still unfortunately around $55 USD, damn exchange rate).
Before long, it was time for New Year’s, so we took the metro (the only public transportation we took all week, we’re foot-trotters). We battled the cold to get to the Eiffel Tower, we thought it’d be a cool place to be for New Years. We were surprised when it was rather uneventful.
You always see on TV and think that it would be outrageous music and fireworks, but actually, nothing happened. There were no fireworks. There was no music. There was no countdown. No TV screens or confetti. The tower was lit up by a bunch of LED’s, and changed colors all night, but at midnight, the whole thing just turned orange and some strobes went off. Valerie and I had no idea it was 2010 until we looked at out watches.
Funny enough, apparently civilians are allowed to light off fireworks in Paris (or at least no police officers stop you) so the only fireworks we saw were lit by a bunch of drunk kids:
Disappointed but still content, we journeyed back to the hotel room and crashed.